The first visit to spot the Pied Stilts at Pauatahanui Forest and Bird Reserve and their new chicks was reasonably successful. It was evening and there was some water in the pond near the hide.
Pied Stilt parents are not silly. They nest well away from the road, paths and the hide. They are fierce in protecting their young off-spring and I discovered they have some unique methods of sheltering them at times.
Not only do they nest in remote and secluded spots but they wade and feed as far from human contact as they can go. Certainly the parent and the chick in the photos below were out of range of the zoom on my camera.
So the photos are fuzzy but I hope you will get a sense of the fluffy, well camouflaged but long-legged chick and wonder at four legged bird photos!
Popping under Mum or Dad’s wing.
Back to exploring…
Seeking shelter again.
It pays to sit quietly in the hide and allow your eyes to scan around the area. After some time we noticed a slight movement on an island in the pond and it did eventually become apparent to us that another Pied Stilt was sitting on eggs there. It was only confirmed when the other parent came to take over incubation duties.
Oh the photos of the parent and chick are adorable. The little chick must feel very safe.
The parents do a very good job. Hawks are a real threat to the chicks:-( I loved how the parent bent those long legs and allowed the chick to “tunnel” under!